5 good new years resolutions for cyclists and the first steps you need to take to achieve them

New years fireworks - the moment people set their resolutions

This is typically the time of the year when we set new goals for ourselves. During January I’ll be posting more about how to keep the resolution to start cycling. Hopefully you guys will be kind enough to forward the articles to your non-cycling buddies! Here are 5 good new years resolutions if you are already cycling..

Take part in a sportive

If 2011 is the year of fitness then rather than just saying to yourself “get fit”, which is far too vague, why not set the goal of taking part in a cycling sportive. These can be an excellent test of endurance and give you a clear goal for something to aim for. As a side benefit you’ll meet a load more cyclists.

  • Your first step: Make a quick search on Google to checkout a ton of suitable events.

Organise a cycling holiday

The bike is one of the best ways to experience somewhere new. If you’re planning on taking some holidays in 2011 then why not make one of them a bike tour. Wade Wallace of Cycling Tips Blog did a tour around Vietnam. He loved it so much he is planning a similar trip in 2011. If your planning an extra long trip then I strongly recommend Darren Alffs Bicycle Travellers Blueprint.

  • Your first step: Leave a comment with what destination you would like to go to, if you’d like to take anyone with you and when you think you can get the time off to do so.

Get one of your friends onto a bike

One of my close friends hopped on a bike this year and I’m always encouraging as much cycling as possible from my girlfriend. When the weather warms up pick one of your friends who’s been on the fence about cycling for a while or one of your colleagues who’s expressed an interest and help them get started. If they hit you with the “I’m scared” excuse make sure you encourage them to take some cycle training.

  • Your first step: Think of which friend you could help

Stop passing trucks on the inside

Hat tip to @WullieTalksPish for this one. One of the 7 mistakes cyclists often make that put them in danger is overtaking lorries on the inside. This is very dangerous as the driver isn’t expecting you there and there’s little route for escape if the truck turns left. Make it your objective to never do it again.

  • Your first step: Add a post-it next to where you pickup your cycling gear every day with a drawing of a truck and a big cross over it.

Volunteer your time in the Open Street Maps project

Hat tip to @CycleStreets for this one. The Open Street Maps technology is helping cyclists get from A to B and makes applications such as Bike Hub possible. You can help them out by mapping your local area for fellow cyclists to use.

What are your new years resolutions?

See also: My new years resolution suggestions for 2010

Image via John Ashby

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25 Responses to 5 good new years resolutions for cyclists and the first steps you need to take to achieve them

  1. Nicole 31/12/2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I have a goal for 2011 which includes cycling one of the major Tour climbs, Mont Ventoux and (maybe) Alpe d”huez. I alway find that it helps me to have one (or possibly more) defined goal. It focusses the mind and the training and when you do it, it brings with it such a great sense of achievement, you have to get yourself another, straightaway.

    I’d love to do a cycling holiday this year as well, to combine one of my climbs with a week of cycling in the same area would be my ideal.

    Happy New Year Andreas.

    • Andreas 31/12/2010 at 1:10 pm #

      Happy new year to you Nicole! Look forward to hearing about progress towards your goal of doing one of the major tour climbs.

  2. Dave Hodgkinson 31/12/2010 at 12:31 pm #

    I only have one resolution: “don’t die”. That’s all.

    • Andreas 31/12/2010 at 1:09 pm #

      Dramatic!

    • Ash 03/01/2011 at 5:46 pm #

      Good luck on this one!! Why not wish something more positive instead?

  3. My cycling resolution for 2011 is to advise all the women I see wearing short skirts or low slung jeans on a bike that they are sharing their privates with most of London and some people don’t like cycling behind a big “T Junction” all the way to work. Sometimes I pull up to lights and want to tell such individuals that drivers can see their bits in their rear view mirrors, and that this is a dangerous distraction, but I get embarassed.

    • Emma 31/12/2010 at 3:09 pm #

      The low slung jeans point applies to male cyclists too!

    • Middle aged cyclist in a skirt 04/01/2011 at 9:17 am #

      Perhaps you could make it a new year resolution to leave other cyclists to make their own decisions about what they wear, why and when without passing judgement on them.

      • Aw, come on, i’m not passing judgement on anyone. I say nothing about the characters of people who wear revealing clothes on bikes. I don’t think new or novice cyclists are fully aware of what gets exposed because of the position you have to ride when you’re on certain cycles like road bikes or hybrids. My comment was judgement free.

  4. fgp 31/12/2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I would add not only trucks, but buses too.

    • Andreas 31/12/2010 at 1:08 pm #

      Pretty much all vehicles!

  5. Darren Alff 31/12/2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Again Andreas, thanks so much for mentioning bicycle travel and my guide to bike touring.

    What about another goal for people being to simply ride their bikes more and drive their cars less. I gave up my car more than two years ago and I haven’t missed it one bit. It was a challenge at first actually, but after just a short time I grew to really like not having a vehicle to deal with… and it gave me an excuse to ride my bike more than I would normally otherwise. Obviously, giving up your car isn’t something everyone can do, but riding your bike more often is a good goal to have I think.

    Keep up the good work in the New Year! I know you will.

    • Andreas 31/12/2010 at 4:33 pm #

      Darren great to hear from you!

      It’s a good suggestion. New years resolution: Sell my car and live car free! Though I can’t imagine life without a car in more rural areas. In London it’s definitely achievable.

      • Adam Edwards 02/01/2011 at 7:18 pm #

        A car costs about £5000 per year to run once you add in insurance, depreciation, servicing etc. So don’t buy one: Treat your self and the family to expensive bikes (now affordable as you have no car) and when you need a car you hire one, which we do once or twice a year.

        I’ve never owned a car and we manage fine without one out here in Hertfordshire, so in London it really must be easy.

        Adam

  6. Dave Escandell 31/12/2010 at 3:57 pm #

    I could have a long list of unrealistic resolutions, but there are two that I will target myself for,

    1 – Must do a cycle holiday with the kids – The New Forest is always a treat.
    2 – target myself with a challenging ‘ miles to complete’ log.

    Happy New Year all and cycle safe in 2011.

    • Andreas 31/12/2010 at 4:34 pm #

      Dave good call on the cycle log. It’s the sort of thing you’ll feel motivated to do as you watch the miles clock up.

      I’m sure the cycling holiday will be a great idea too – let me know how it comes along!

  7. Colleen Welch 31/12/2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I’m already an avid cyclist. I already have a long tour coming up. What I resolve to do is make myself smaller (euphemism for lose weight) in order to better fit into a new lightweight down jacket I want to take on my tour in June.

  8. Kevin Campbell's Blog 01/01/2011 at 8:59 am #

    i am always trying to get people i know on bikes, any tips for words that i can use for persuasion?

    • Andreas 01/01/2011 at 11:17 am #

      Listen to the perceptions they have about cycling and try to reverse them or find a solution. “It’s too scary” – do a couple of sessions of cycle training it can be as little as £8. “It’s too expensive” – get a second hand bike “It will take too long” – often quicker by bike.

      Show off the benefits of cycling and hand hold them through the process of getting started.

      If that doesn’t work then use phychological persuasion “doesn’t it seem reasonable that…” It’s hard for people to argue against reason!

  9. ON THE RIVET 02/01/2011 at 8:21 am #

    Happy New Year everybody !

    The best way to get fit is to join a cycling club in your area.
    Going out for a ride with friends is the best way to stay motivated.

    If your ever in Sussex Join ON THE RIVET http://ontherivet.ning.com for a training ride in the lovely lanes of Sussex.

    Be safe everyone, happy cycling !

  10. Iain 02/01/2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m intending to join the local cycling club, I’ve had a couple of rides where I’ve met members and now that I’ve a bike that works, joining the club makes sense.

    My other aim is to support the local ind bike shop – my Christmas present bike was bought through the local shop to my parents, I popped in to find out how much assembling I’d have to do when it’s delivered to me and left with a couple of alan keys, the extra bolts needed for the mudguards that don’t come with it, and a great spanner that’ll fit anything (it fits 12 different things!) and all the advice you’ll ever need and no charge! Compare that with the major chain my deceased bike came from (if it had a name now, I’d get in trouble for saying it here!) who told me after 500 miles half the components were be life expired… Needless to say the bike didn’t go back. The rear freewheel did 5000 miles before giving up, and having taken the wheel in to get it replaced, it started a cascade of failures – spokes, then that resulted in damage to the new freewheel… Looking forward to getting my new bike up and running and having something that will last and knowing I can take it to the local indy shop who’ll sort out any prolems rather than simply sell me new bits

    I need to find some more good roads for rides too, I tend to stick to two or three runs and use them over and over, rather tha seek out somewhere new, although joining the club should help. (Being terrible with place names doesn’t help either!) As an add on, I should really aim to beat that 6000 miles from last year, although with a potential commuting round trip of 40 a day that shouldn’t be too tricky!

  11. Adam Edwards 02/01/2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Resolution for the year is to do another camping by bike trip with the kids. They loved it last year.

    Adam

  12. David Cohen 02/01/2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I think ‘stop passing trucks on the inside’ is one I’ll try and follow more – I do this now after weighing up how the situation looks (mostly at stationary traffic I have to add), but I think a general rule not to attempt it definitely to be aspired to.

  13. Amoeba 05/01/2011 at 6:49 am #

    I have mirrors on my bikes and I recommend them. My favourite is the Mirrycle, available for flat and drop handlebars.

    Using a mirror, one can keep a much better eye on what’s happening behind. Note a mirror does not mean not looking behind!

    But there is a second reason for a mirror. When I notice a vehicle that’s approaching fast; too close or a long, wide one: think [articulated, bendy bus etc., I start to wobble. I believe this creates uncertainty as to where I’ll be and the unsettled drivers are encouraged into wide passes.

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